Tuesday, December 3, 1861.
After Divine Service, the Synod assembled at the School room, Waerengaahika.
The Bishop opened the proceedings with prayer.
The following clergymen answered to their names,
The following Synodsmen answered to their names,
- Hakaraia Mahika,
- Rewi Tereanuku,
- Eruera Te Ripi,
- Mihaera Taumanu,
- Hunia Hapai,
- Wiremu Kopa,
- Maaka Te Ihutu,
- Mohi Turei,
- Hoani Ngatai,
- Rihara Paipa,
- Kemara Te Hape,
- Rapata Wahawaha,
- Hirini Te Kani,
- Wiremu Pere,
- Anaru Matete,
- Pitihera Kopu,
- Henare Potae.
The Bishop then declared the Synod to be duly constituted, and proceeded to read the following address.
"Our Saviour has said, that the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed; it is small in size, but as it grows it becomes large. Formerly there was neither worship of God in this country nor faith, but now they are on the increase. If man is living alone in a spacious country and his cultivations are injured, consumed by animals, he does not feel the want of laws and regulations because he is alone. But when a community is enlarged, laws are required for many things. So it is with the Church. As the members increase in different places, a necessity for laws is felt for the regulation of various matters, and it becomes page 18desirable that those laws should be uniform. The absence of such a uniformity in this country was felt many years ago, and this led to the adoption of measures, for bringing about a better state of things.
The first meeting of the General Synod was held at Wellington, in the year 1859. This meeting was for the transaction of business, which relates in common to all the Dioceses of New Zealand, and is to meet once in three years.
The chief business which was done at that Synod, was, to pass Regulations;
|1.||For organizing the General Synod;|
|2.||For organizing Diocesan Synods;|
|3.||For organizing Archdeaconry and Rural Deanery Boards;|
|4.||For regulating the formation of Parishes, that is, of those divisions of a district, which come under the care of one clergyman;|
|5.||For the appointment of Pastors to Parishes.|
The Synod of this Diocese, therefore is assembled under the authority of the General Synod.
It is now twenty-five years since the Gospel was first introduced to this part of the Island, and by God's blessing his word has prevailed and prospered, but with varied success in different places.
The duty Which devolves upon us is, to notice such parts of our system as may be defective, and to endeavour to provide the remedy. Let our endeavours be begun, continued, and ended in God, that His holy name may be glorified, and that we ourselves may receive a blessing.
One of the first matters which demand our attention is to fix upon some systematic course for the erection of churches. In some parts of the Diocese good churches have been erected, and in those places the congregations are assembled regularly, and a corresponding order in respect of other parts of christian duty is found to prevail. There are districts again without any suitable place of worship; and as a natural consequence there is a careless indifference page 19about religion. The tree is known by its fruits. Let the churches which have been erected serve as a stimulus to those tribes, which have not as yet been stirred up to exertion.
When the church is built, the next consideration is the person who is to officiate within it. The worship of God among the natives had its beginning from the foreigner, who was sent hither by the Church at the other extremity of the earth. It was after the example of the Apostles, who went forth among all nations under the command of Christ. In those early days when the gospel was received, the Apostles were wont to ordain elders in every city, to whom was committed the care of these infant churches. Such has been the course followed among all nations who have embraced Christianity. When the people have turned to God and believed, persons have been instructed from among themselves, who should become pastors of the Church.
This is the peculiar work which is going on at this place, at Turanga. It is the work of instruction and preparation; the object proposed being, that chosen men should be sent forth as teachers of the people. Let us persevere then until the end is attained, until every district shall be supplied with its pastor, then it is to be hoped, that the people generally will become more attentive to their religions duties. If the faithful shepherd is in charge of the sheep they will not be devoured by the wolf. Up to the present time four native clergymen have been set apart for the ministry in this diocese.
It is required in those who are separated for this service, that their attention should not be distracted by the business of the world, but that they should be so disengaged as to be able to teach the old and young, and to attend upon the sick. To this end a regulation has been laid down, that if the inhabitants of any district wish to have a clergyman of their own, they must collect money as a means of his support. That money is to be invested in order that a yearly income may be derived from it. The sum, of money which has been collected for this object by Ngatiporou and by Ngatikahungunu now amounts to £700, the particulars of which I will lay before the Synod.
When the Gospel was first received every part of our work page 20used to proceed with vigour. Schools were daily attended by the old and young, and weekly Bible classes were resorted to with regularity. Many have now grown weary of these good habits, having attained to a certain amount of knowledge, and have laid them aside. It will be for the Synod to devise some measure, by which a better attendance at the Bible classes and at Schools may be secured.
Two Central Schools have been established in this Diocese, the one at Turanga, the other at Tauranga. The object of these schools is to give education of a more advanced character to pupils selected from village schools. After long trial we are better able to discover those, who shew the best promise of usefulness in after life. It is to this source we look for monitors, teachers, and clergymen, who may carry on the work successfully. Clergymen and teachers should select in their own localities the pupils best suited for these Central Schools.
There are many other matters to which our attention may be suitably directed. Every member has now the opportunity to bring forward any subject, he wishes to place under the consideration of the Synod.
The work which we are now entering upon is the work of God;—we are fellow workers with Him. Let us look to Him that He may give us right judgment in all our deliberations; then will God be glorified in all we do, and this our assembly will tend to promote the welfare of His Church.
"That the thanks of the Synod be presented to the Bishop for this address, and that he be requested to allow it to be printed."
Moved by Rev. Rota Waitoa, and seconded by Anaru Matete;
Moved by Rev. Raniera Kawhia, and seconded by Henare Potae;
"That the Synod go into Committee for the consideration of the "Standing Orders" of the General Synod, with a view to their page 21adoption as "Standing Orders" of this Synod. The Bishop to be the chairman of this Committee."
The Standing Orders were severally read.
The following were left as passed by the General Synod; 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 24.
The following were passed with alterations; 1, 2, 3, 11, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21.
Nos. 23 and 25 were omitted.
To the 4th Standing Order were added the following words;
"If the number of members present at the sitting be less than a Quorum, and it be reported to the Bishop by any member, the Bishop shall then adjourn the Synod to the hour appointed for the next sitting."
"That the "Standing Orders," which have been now read and passed by the Committee, be reported to the Synod."
Agreed to, and reported accordingly.
Moved by Rev. W. L. Williams, and seconded by Wiremu Pene;
"That these "Standing Orders" be adopted by this Synod, as the Rule for their proceedings."
The Synod then adjourned to Wednesday, the 4th day of December.